The EU is expected to approve Microsoft’s search deal with Yahoo this week.
According to Reuter, sources said that the EU is not intending to extend the deadline for approval past Friday.
Under the deal, Yahho searches would be powered by Bing, with Yahoo gaining revenue from search ads sold on its site.
Last Friday was the deadline for the EU to go back to Microsoft with further requirements; it didn’t, indicating that it’s likely to approve the ten-year deal without imposing any extra restrictions.
Working in the two companies’ favor, for once, is Google’s extraordinary dominance of the search market, which means that even a combined Microsoft/Yahoo wouldn’t look remotely monopolistic.
Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing currently hold a measly ten percent or so of the search market – totally eclipsed by Google’s 90-odd percent.
The two companies still need to gain approval in the US. While they have a rather better joint market share there – about 28 percent, according to ComScore – it’s still not likely to hold up the deal.
US approval should come early this year.